Archive for March, 2015

Dying Light or The Sandbox of the Undead

Posted in Gaming these days ..., Hands On with tags , on March 23, 2015 by Rabidgames

At first sight, Dying Light is just a hybrid of Dead Island and Mirror’s Edge, zombie bashing/slicing combined with first person parcours. But when the light dies, it becomes a different game altogether …

Let’s disregard the rather lame beginning of the story (American guy has to help dark-skinned people during a zombie outbreak, yawn … but yes, it gets better) and let’s talk about the gameplay – there’s lots of it in Dying Light, and most of it is awesome.

The parcours part of Dying Light is well done – it’s fun to jump and climb around the city of Harran, and 99% of the time, the controls are precise. Occasionally, there not and you fall to your death without knowing why (hint: most likely a glitch). Dying Light is certainly not worse than Mirror’s Edge when it comes to parcours, and that means something having in mind the reputation that game has.

The zombie killing in Dying Light is similar to Dead Island although sadly without precise analogue stick controls. In the beginning, you are pretty weak and mostly rely on kicking zombies, but from mid-game onwards slicing zombies in half is fun – and you can still slice off zombies limb by limb, or multiple limbs, or sometimes just the face. Anyway, the gore effect is the same, you need stamina for attacks, and there are also blueprints for rather extravagant but deadlier weapons with elemental effects (exploding ninja stars are one of Rabidgames’ favourites). Weapons are even less durable than in Dead Island, and this time, you can only repair them a few times. Oh, and kicking is back again, kicking which uses no stamina. Stomping time! Shooting is fun although not en par with your classic shooters, but still okay. So far so Dead Island.

But there’s more to Dying Light – you can activate or even create different kinds of traps to kill zombies, which is always fun. And the world feels more alive, not least because there are certain events in the game that can unlock or destroy save havens, and there are a few really good side quests that are more than “kill this, fetch that”. Fighting humans is also quite a challenge, because these bastards can dodge and block, and they always do it.

There’s also the obvious moral question “are humans even less human than zombies during an outbreak” … as usual, the answer is yes. But we ain’t here for the story, eh? Although it still has to be said that you actually meet some characters you care about – and some events are way more emotional than you might expect from a game such as Dying Light. Needless to say not all your friends make it …

And then, there’s the night. During the day, you can easily kill of zombies. Unless you’re overwhelmed, they’re fodder for your weapons. Comes night though, YOU are prey to the volatiles, brutal zombies who can one-hit you, alert their mates and hunt you down quickly after discovering you (they are relatively easy to avoid as you see their field of vision thanks to Metal Gear Solid-like cones). While easy in latter stages (volatiles can be killed easily if you’re levelled up), the first nights are a nightmare in Dying Light, and surviving really felt like an accomplishment. Of course, it helps you can blind them with UV lights …

Even during the day, stealth is part of Dying Light – tons of zombies around? Throw in some firecrackers and they’re distracted! Shooting a gun is a bad idea though in general since it’ll attract every zombie a mile around, fast or slow … But during the night, stealth is even more crucial. You earn more EXP at night, and you can kill the biggest and baddest zombies at night, too.

So far, we’ve established the parts fit together nicely in Dying Light, but what about the game as a game? Well, it’s awesome! Dying Light is an amazing sandbox experience where it is almost entirely up to you (only a handful missions MUST be accomplished at night) if you want to dropkick zombies to death, if you walk around casually by day or want to feel the thrill of getting hunted by a volatile only to fry it in an electric fence trap after a chase. There are also some overpowered skills to be found in Dying Light – the grappling hook which can get you out of every hopeless pinch, or Camouflage where you splatter yourself with zombie blood so they think you’re one of them – but hey, you don’t have to use them. Another nice addition is – there is basically no fast travel. You always have to walk, always running the risk of dying. Dying Light offers you many toys, and it’s up to you to use them creatively.

Content-wise, there are shitloads of things to do in Dying Light – the main story, which is engaging, tons of side quests (some with multiple objectives, and some nicely peppered with dark humour), minor missions and challenges, random events – and of course, two big maps for you to explore – the slums with lots of open spaces, and Old Town, the urban centre with high buildings – including easter eggs, of course.

It’s safe to say Dying Light is one of the first next-gen sandboxes – and most likely the most beautiful one as well. The graphics are absolutely stunning, the audio is near perfection (especially at night), and you can see dozens of zombies running around at times – without a hitch for the engine. Technically, there are some flaws and glitches, but nothing game-breaking so far.

Rabidgames wades through zombie blood with a grin on his face: Yes, Dying Light was worth the wait for the boxed version. The mix between parcours and fighting works, and the addition of survival horror and the day/night mix make Dying Light an awesome sandbox experience. After the Nemesis system in Shadow of Mordor and the awesome graphics in GTA V, Dying Light might be the third game that really deserves the title next gen game. Also, it lightens up the rather stale zombie genre with new ideas – sometimes, quite literally.

R.I.P. Metal Gear Solid?

Posted in Gaming these days ... with tags , , , , , on March 22, 2015 by Rabidgames

You might have the heard the news about Kojima leaving Konami. Well it’s not 100% clear he’s going to leave but please, we can read between the lines! And he leaves Konami in a way that his ubiquitous name’s not even mentioned in the game ads anymore!

Here’s the thing – what the fuck is Konami doing? Why would you let Kojima leave or maybe kick him out? Okay, there might be reasons, but why the fucking hell do you do this while Phantom Pain is still in development? Something must have gone terribly wrong at Konami, and this doesn’t bode well for Metal Gear Solid 5, that’s for sure.

Rabidgames is scared: The tensions at Konami HQ have the potential to instil fear that Phantom Pain could turn into real pain. Whatever’s going on there cannot be good for the game in development. Let’s hope for the best though!



An open letter to Capcom

Posted in Gaming these days ... with tags , , , on March 1, 2015 by Rabidgames

Dear Capcom,

you utterly disgust Rabidgames! 28 “Add-Ons” for Resident Evil Revelations 2 part 1? 28 packs off DLC that was cut out of the game? That alone puts Rabidgames off buying it, thanks. Who wants to play a hollowed-out version of a short game? How can anyone in the world with a sane mind think twenty-fucking-eight DLC for one part of an episodic game is a good idea? For our sake, we must stop a) buying these hollow games in general b) buying such DLC rip-offs c) buying Capcom games it seems.

On top of that, Revelations 2 doesn’t even look interesting. Yes, it seems to be better than the Call of Duty clone that was Resident Evil 6, but a PS3 game upgraded to the PS4 yet the graphics staying the same, and yet the same co-op mechanics again (and not even local co-op on the PC) … meh. Not good enough. Try harder, Capcom, for your own sake!

Fucking hell, it really seems Dragon’s Dogma will stay your only relevant game since ages and until forever …

Sincerely not yours,
A former fan